Five days ago I started a year long project that I’m calling “Courage 365.”
Now, what is Courage 365?
One night a few months ago, after an emotional breakdown, I was faced with a very critical question: why am I not living the life I want to be living? why, when everything should be going right, does everything feel like its not?
From that moment, I kept bumping my head up against the word “perfectionism.”
To understand the link between perfectionism and courage, watch this clip by Brene Brown.
Courage 365 is my memoir of one year in which I test-drive a life of courage.
That very fact that I’ve written this post feels courageous, because now I’ve said aloud that I am working to live a different kind of life.
I talked something about fearlessness last year. I wrote about it in talk about the role of fear in my writing career and how being fearful sometimes stands in the way of us behaving greatly. But, even as I wrote that I had no idea how deeply rooted fear was in my life. I had no idea that my fear was tied to perfectionism or that being fearless was not the thing that I really needed to aspire to.
“Courage,” wrote Mark Twain, “is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Yes. That’s it, or the goal then is not to pretend that you’ll never be afraid in life. Because you will be afraid. You will have fear. You will have fear about how your life will change with another baby or in sending out that pitch. The goal is to learn to master fear.
There’s a study that revealed the part of our brains that lights up when we choose to overcome the fear that comes when faced with things that terrify us. Courage and bravery are both intentional acts that everyone can do, even me.
So, this year my word is courage.
“This year, I am going to be courageous and brave,” I told myself after watching that clip by Brene Brown on Oprah’s lifeclass.
So to this end, I’ve started a project called “Courage 365.” My goal with this project is to get out of the habit of being a perfectionist by doing courageous and brave things every day. Yes, every day (hence the 365 bit).
A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules. –Anthony Trollope
Throughout 2014, I will mostly be journaling my daily acts of bravery in personal journals, but I hope to share some reflections, research findings and relevant anecdotes from this journey online. The idea of this project kind of terrifies me (Okay, it really terrifies me!) But that’s the point. Being courageous is the point.
So, I hope you’ll stick around, or, even participate by doing courageous things in your life, too.
Here’s to courage and bravery in 2014! Cheers.